Communication systems are described that use geometrically shaped constellations that have increased capacity compared to conventional constellations operating within a similar SNR band. In several embodiments, the geometrically shaped is optimized based upon a capacity measure such as parallel decoding capacity or joint capacity. In many embodiments, a capacity optimized geometrically shaped constellation can be used to replace a conventional constellation as part of a firmware upgrade to transmitters and receivers within a communication system. In a number of embodiments, the geometrically shaped constellation is optimized for an Additive White Gaussian Noise channel or a fading channel. In numerous embodiments, the communication uses adaptive rate encoding and the location of points within the geometrically shaped constellation changes as the code rate changes.